BBC Radio 4 audio discussion: The Future of Our Food

With thanks to the reader who drew this to our attention in an emessage since mislaid.

Listen again to the broadcast on Tuesday 6th May http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042jhlh

colin tudge 2sean rickardCosting the Earth debated this issue, with biologist Colin Tudge on the side of quality of food, life and the environment, rebutting statements by economist Sean Rickard, always firmly on the side of profit-making (aka efficiency):

Where will our food come from in the decades ahead?

The world population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050. That’s another 2.5 billion mouths to feed, roughly the number of people currently living in China and India today. Tom Heap is joined by an panel to chew over the question of what the world will eat as populations rise, climate changes and vital resources are depleted.

The panel was made up of experts from the world of food and agriculture:

  • Professor Charles Godfray, Oxford Martin Programme for the Future of Food;
  • Colin Tudge, Campaign for Real Farming;
  • Christine Tacon, Groceries Adjudicator;
  • Sean Rickard, economist who specialises in food and farming;
  • Tristram Stuart, the food waste campaigner.

Should put our faith in huge industrial agri-industry to feed the ever expanding world population or could organic farming hold the key?

Will genetic modification be embraced as famine takes hold?
Will vast factory farms pop up to avoid people going hungry?
Will future farming operations be more holistic and community based, with everyone doing their bit to produce food for their friends and neighbours?
Will we need to turn to algae, lab-grown protein and insect farms to keep our bellies full?
.

Or will the developed world enjoy an artisan-baked, craft-brewed lifestyle whilst the rest of the planet scrapes a living from depleted soils?

Presenter: Tom Heap
Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts

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